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90 Part 2

 

He didn’t know what kind of monsters he would be facing.

“Kamuikotan”, Asahikawa’s dungeon, was a relatively shallow dungeon, with no more than 10 floors.

Only the monsters from the upper floors would be appearing, so as long as he didn’t get too careless, there would be no way for an intermediate adventurer like Haruki to fall behind.

 

Adventurers who defeated a lot of monsters would be publicly acknowledged on Kagemitsu’s blog.

If his name were to appear on a popular Ranker’s blog, he would begin to stand out.

 

And if he were to compete against other adventurers and win, there was no way some company would notice him.

 

If he were to stand at the top of Kagemitsu’s list, the future where he gets a stronger presence would be much closer.

In other words, this was a battle where Haruki had to defeat more monsters than anyone else.

 

Haruki poured water over his head one more time.

He had to exterminate all the monsters he could with the determination to bet his own life.

 

“Hehe…”

 

Haruki was unable to fight at his fullest due to him leveling up at an exceedingly high speed.

But if he were to fully recover…

 

The other adventurers would be impressed with the powered-up and better-than-ever Karaboshi Haruki!

No one would be able to say he wasn’t noticeable anymore!!

 

However, this request was announced to all adventurers of intermediate level and above.

He could expect his rivals to also be strong adventurers.

 

They could be as strong as Haruki, or even stronger than him. They would have more battle experience than him.

They wouldn’t be outmaneuvered so easily.

 

He wouldn’t be able to defeat them straightforwardly

In that case…

 

“Hehehe…”

 

Seeing the strong light of a presence that could be felt from a distance, Haruki laughed.

He had devised a strategy that would assure his victory in the upcoming battle while watching Esta swim playfully in the bathtub.

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

The next day, Haruki and the others went to Asahikawa’s dungeon, “Kamuikotan”.

It was the same name as the district in the mountains beyond the city of Asahikawa.

The origin of the name is “the place where the gods live”.

 

It was designated as one of the eight scenic spots of Asahikawa because it was a beautiful scenic spot on both banks across the rapids of the Ishikari River.

 

Many adventurers seeking to participate in the request seemed to have already gathered in front of the former Kamuikotan Station building.

 

Their equipment was at least middle tier.

They all had a brilliance that showed off their strength.

 

“Some of them are using “Ichi” series…”

“Wow… that’s amazing.”

 

Haruki and Karen sighed as if they felt daunted to see those adventurers’ Ichi series equipment.

 

It looked like they were in some kind of trade fair for adventurers representing Hokkaido.

 

In particular, the fact that some of them were using “Ichi” equipment, which was considered to be high-end, meant they were strong enough to reach a dungeon’s lower section.

They weren’t at the level of a “Monster Hunting Competition” request, where all they would have to do was to deal with some upper-section monsters.

 

However, they weren’t just participating on a whim or out of a desire to show off.

They were in for the chance of becoming a Ranker for “Narou”.

 

Even if someone had the ability to reach the lower and the deeper sections of a dungeon, they wouldn’t be able to become a ranker unless they earned adventurer points.

 

They could earn points just by completing this request, but they would earn even more points by appearing at the top at the list on Kagemitsu’s blog.

In other words, “Narou” would tell if someone is capable or not based more on how much they stand out from the crowd than on their actual strength.

 

After overcoming the wall that is the “Narou” Ranker system, what would be waiting for them would be a sponsored consultation from a company –the road to becoming a Pro Adventurer.

 

Haruki’s face became stiff when he saw those adventurers and their high-end equipment.

He had to do even better than them if he wanted to get a stronger presence.

He became even more tense.

 

“Umm, Karaboshi.”

 

Standing next to the nervous Haruki, Karen spoke with a voice that lacked self-confidence.

 

“What am I supposed to do? I mean, how will I even fight…?”

 

Karen shook her shoulders uncomfortably.

 

Karen had the ability to fight monsters from the middle section of a dungeon.

However, that was only due to her magic.

 

This time around, Karen was surrounded by the public gaze, so she had to fight without using her magic.

That was why she was feeling so uneasy.

 

“I think we should be fine…”

 

Haruki had no doubts regarding her fighting ability.

 

The monsters that escaped this dungeon were from the upper section.

Of course, she needed to be on her toes, but still it was nothing she couldn’t deal with.

 

Still, no matter what Haruki said, she wouldn’t stop feeling uneasy.

It’s always the experience, not words, that builds confidence.

 

“That’s right. You can try something like this–”

 

Haruki secretly whispered into Karen’s ear so that no one else could listen.

After hearing his words, Karen tilted her head in doubt.

 

“Do you really think it will work? I’ve never done something like that…”

“If it works, great. If it doesn’t, we don’t lose anything by trying. I think it’s worth a try.”

“Well, you’re right. If the chance arrives, I’ll give it a try.”

“Great! Then you go with Rhea, and I’ll go with Esta.”

“Huh!?”

 

Karen’s face went pale.

Ignoring her reaction, Haruki placed Rhea on the ground.

 

Was she unhappy to learn that they wouldn’t be working together?

Rhea patted on the back of Haruki’s hand.

 

“I thought we’d be doing this together…”

“I think we’d be better off splitting up like this for now.”

 

If possible, Haruki wanted to achieve an individual victory.

However, as long as the other adventurers had high-end equipment, it would be difficult to win by fighting individually.

 

But in that case…

Haruki thought of a strategy.

 

Haruki would take Esta with him and split from Rhea and Karen, and they would defeat monsters separately.

Rather than trying to gang up on the same monsters, it was more efficient to split and attack different monsters.

 

Haruki’s plan was to aim for a team victory rather than an individual victory.

 

Haruki and Rhea would be split apart.

Esta would go with Haruki, and Rhea would go with Karen.

 

They split into two teams to be able to search for monsters more quickly.

This was the strategy Haruki came up with while soaking in the hot springs the day before.

 

“So, Esta is going with you, Karaboshi…”

“Hmm? Is something the matter?”

 

Haruki tilted his head to the side.

 

Did you want us all to go together that much?

Karen shook her head after seeing Haruki’s reaction.

 

“No… I was wondering if Esta and Rhea could join forces and come with me as well…”

 

It made sense. Esta was like an automatic defense system.

Since Karen had a relatively low defensive power, Esta would be a valuable asset to her.

 

— But you didn’t have to use say it in such a convoluted way… join forces?

 

That thought settled on Haruki’s mind.

 

— Join… forces?

 

Tick tock, tick tock.

A certain vision built itself in Haruki’s mind.

 

Immediately, the blood in his entire body boiled excitedly.

 

“That’s it!!”

“Wait what!?”

 

Haruki got carried away by his own excitement and grabbed Karen by her shoulders.

She blushed, probably surprised by Haruki’s sudden outburst.

 

Rhea started to hit Haruki’s legs with her vines.

— Ow, it hurts!

 

A bit away from the other three, Esta was digging around for earthworms and slurping them like spaghetti.

 

— What do you think you’re doing…?

 

Noticing Haruki’s gaze upon him, Esta tilted his body to the side in a cute manner.

 

“(Do you want some?)”

 

— No, thanks.

 

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